OK, I’m putting that in my own words, but it is so true:
Something has happened to the generic American male accent. Maybe it is urbanization; perhaps it is now an affectation to sound precise and caring with a patina of intellectual authority; perhaps it is the fashion culture of the metrosexual; maybe it is the influence of the gay community in arts and popular culture. Maybe the ubiquitous new intonation comes from the scarcity of salty old jobs in construction, farming, or fishing. But increasingly to meet a young American male about 25 is to hear a particular nasal stress, a much higher tone than one heard 40 years ago, and, to be frank, to listen to a precious voice often nearly indistinguishable from the female. (…) I confess over the last year, I have been interviewed a half-dozen times on the phone, and had no idea at first whether a male or female was asking the questions. All this sounds absurd, but I think upon reflection readers my age (55) will attest they have had the same experience. In the old days, I remember only that I first heard a variant of this accent with the old Paul Lynde character actor in one of the Flubber movies; now young men sound closer to his camp than to a Jack Palance or Alan Ladd.
I can’t tell you how often someone has leaned over to me in some social occasion in the last five years, after a fellow under age 40 has left the room momentarily, and asked me in a whisper, “Is he gay??”
The questioner is usually a man of Hanson’s age or maybe a bit younger.
There’s a disconcerting physical spindly-ness (or, alternately, flabbiness) caused by too much computer gaming, combined with those mandatory TinTin haircuts, a drowsy “whatever!” facial affect and other urban metrosexual signifiers — including that voice — that all scream “gay.”
Work on it, ok guys? It’s gross.